Leslie Grace responds to ‘Batgirl’ cancellation: “Thank you for the love and belief”

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Leslie Grace has released a statement following the cancellation of Batgirl by Warner Bros.

On Tuesday (August 2) the studio abruptly axed the film and announced that it would no longer be released on streaming service HBO Max as originally intended.

Grace, who played Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl in the cancelled film, shared a statement on Instagram following the news praising the “incredible cast and tireless crew” for their work.

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In the post, Grace wrote: “Querida familia! On the heels of the recent news about our movie Batgirl, I am proud of the love, hard work and intention all of our incredible cast and tireless crew put into this film over 7 months in Scotland. I feel blessed to have worked among absolute greats and forged relationships for a lifetime in the process!

“To every Batgirl fan – THANK YOU for the love and belief, allowing me to take on the cape and become, as Babs said best, ‘my own damn hero!’ Batgirl for life!”

For Grace, Batgirl was set to be her biggest acting role yet following her feature debut in Jon M. Chu’s film adaptation of In The Heights.

Batgirl was axed during post-production after filming concluded on the project in March this year. It’s claimed the cancellation wasn’t a reflection of the film’s quality but was due to new management at Warner Bros. Discovery who wanted to pivot back to making DC films at a blockbuster scale.

Batgirl, with a modest budget of $90million (£73million), was pitched to be screened exclusively in homes on HBO Max.

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According to Variety, it’s claimed that a tax incentive motivated the film’s cancellation, with a tax write-down reportedly seen “as the most financially sound way to recoup the costs”. Warner Bros. refused to comment on the claims, according to the report.

The film’s directors, Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, shared a statement on Wednesday (August 3) saying they were “saddened and shocked” by the news.

“We still can’t believe it,” they wrote. “As directors, it is critical that our work be shown to audiences, and while the film was far from finished, we wish that fans all over the world would have had the opportunity to see and embrace the final film themselves. Maybe one day they will insha’Allah.”

Leslie Grace as ‘Batgirl’ CREDIT: Warner Bros.

Along with Batgirl, Warner Bros. also shelved animated film Scoob! Holiday Haunt, a follow-up to the 2020 film Scoob! which had been shown in a HBO Max sizzle reel last year.

In a statement released to The Hollywood Reporter, a spokesperson for Warner Bros. said: “The decision to not release Batgirl reflects our leadership’s strategic shift as it relates to the DC universe and HBO Max. Leslie Grace is an incredibly talented actor and this decision is not a reflection of her performance.

“We are incredibly grateful to the filmmakers of Batgirl and Scoob! Holiday Haunt and their respective casts and we hope to collaborate with everyone again in the near future.”

Alongside Grace, Batgirl starred J.K. Simmons, Jacob Scipio, Brendan Fraser, Ivory Aquino and Michael Keaton, who reprised his role as Batman for the first time since 1992’s Batman Returns.

Keaton is also set to reprise the role in DC’s The Flash, a film married in controversy due to a string of arrests against lead actor Ezra Miller. It’s due for release on June 23, 2023.